Trying to remake Iraq into a Muslim democracy that could act as an outpost of stability and pro-Western sentiment is undoubtedly a swell idea. But it’s hard to find a Middle Eastern model for that other than, well, Israel.
More realistic models, however, may be Cyprus and Yugoslavia. Where ancient religious and ethnic enmities render peaceful co-existence impossible, the answer for Iraq may lie in partition. As in Kurdistan, (Shiite-dominated) Iraq and (Sunni-dominated) Mess O’Potamia. Rule of thumb: Where there are tribes and warlords, a viable, all-inclusive sovereign state is a bloody long shot – not worth the blood.